What’s this bug I found?
August 9, 2009
I found this bug in my tool box at work. It was a very week flyer. I placed the corner of a newspaper near its mouth and it bit into it. The jaws were like a big ant.
Scott A. E. (ed. note: surname withheld to prevent positive identification and potential public ridicule)
Niagara Falls, NY
This is a Summer Fishfly, Chauliodes pectinicornis. According to BugGuide, the species name pectinicornis means comb-horned and refers to the antennae which are quite different from the similar looking though considerably larger Dobsonfly. We doubt that you are beginning an insect collection as the object that has impaled this Summer Fishfly does not appear to be an entomologist specimen pin. This is speculation on our part, but we suspect this living Summer Fishfly was impaled to keep if from escaping so that it could be photographed, and it might have still been alive when the photo was taken. In our minds (and perhaps also the minds of some of our readership) this would constitute Unnecessary Carnage. We have taken the liberty of editing your surname from our posting in the event that friends and acquaintances of yours happen to read this posting since we are being careful about defamation of character. Other than to say that the jaws of the Summer Fishfly bit into a newspaper, you did not indicate that you were threatened by it, and since Summer Fishflies are perfectly harmless, we feel that there was no need to kill this insect.